All Night Long

This Cafeteria offers comfort food in the wee hours

Tuna tartare has been found for ten years at every joint in town aspiring to hipness, but Cafeteria's fortunately follows the genuinely newish trend away from faux-Asian sesame oil overload. Instead the sushi-grade diced tuna was flavored with a subtly sweet/sour citrus vinaigrette with a hint of orange and more than a hint of heat. The mound of tuna came flanked by tomato, avocado, radish sprouts, and several yuca chips that I'd advise you grab before your tablemates realize they're much better than usual.

Though similarly postmodern sleek in its décor, SoBe's Cafeteria is not just an architectural clone of the Chelsea original (do note the fabulous Deco automobile relief over the front door from the building's days as a Cadillac showroom, uncovered during those construction delays), and the menu is not exactly the same either. One nice add: pizzas, which my buddy Brian refused to order, fearing they'd be as disappointing as most pies usually are in nonpizzeria joints.

On a return visit, though, I couldn't help but notice a truly serious-looking pizza oven in the semiopen kitchen by the front bar, and the thin, nicely crusted "Classic" pizza that came out of it (really a Margherita: mozzarella, tomato sauce, and basil). It was close to the equal of those from Lincoln Road's two world-class pizza palaces, Spris and Piola.

South Beach and Cafeteria could be the perfect 
match, especially in the wee hours
Jonathan Postal
South Beach and Cafeteria could be the perfect match, especially in the wee hours

Wash the designer pie down with one of Cafeteria's world-class cocktails -- a caipirinha was particularly tasty, and potent -- and sit at one of the resto-lounge's outside tables on the pedestrian mall, where conversation is possible even after the thumping bass elevates to Excedrin-headache levels at 10:00 p.m. or so, and it will seem like Cafeteria is just what SoBe nightlife needed.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Loading...